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Cablegate: Turkish Media Reaction

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001290

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU PREL KPAO
SUBJECT: TURKISH MEDIA REACTION
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2009

In Today's Papers

Turkey-Armenia Reach 'Historic Consensus' to Normalize Ties
Papers report a joint statement issued Monday by Turkey, Armenia,
and Switzerland said Turkey and Armenia have decided to begin a
"six-week negotiations process" which will lead to establishment of
diplomatic ties. The agreement was reached through the
intermediation of Switzerland. At the end of six-weeks, a deal
reached on two protocols will be submitted to the parliaments of
both countries for ratification. The protocols are related to the
establishment of diplomatic relations and the development of ties
between the two countries. The two protocols outline a framework
for the normalization of bilateral relations "within a reasonable
time." Turkey and Armenia will open diplomatic representations in
each other's capitals and also take steps for the normalization of
relations.

Islamist-oriented Zaman says Turkey and Armenia have made a
"historic consensus" regarding the improvement of bilateral
relations. Zaman speculates Armenia will recognize Turkey's
borders, and all problems between the two countries, including the
events of 1915, will be discussed by bilateral commissions. The
paper says the opening of the border was not on the agenda. An
unidentified source in Ankara told Zaman the opening of the border
required improvements in the region. Zaman says the pace of the new
process depends on developments in Nagorno Karabakh. Mainstream
Haberturk says the border will be opened when Armenia withdraws from
the occupied territories in Karabakh. The six-week period for the
domestic consultations expires just before the soccer teams of the
two countries meet in the city of Bursa on October 14 for a World
Cup qualifier. Sargsyan said he would come to Turkey in October
only if the border was opened.

Mainstream Hurriyet reports, "A warm period has begun in relations
between Turkey and Armenia" as, "after a series of secret talks that
were initiated in Switzerland, Turkish and Armenian authorities
decided to sign a new protocol." The protocol is expected to be
signed two days before the football match to be played on October 14
in Turkey. Commenting on the new era to begin between the two
countries, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that "No
steps could be taken against Azerbaijan." Davutoglu also said that
borders would be recognized, diplomatic relations would be
established and if everything goes well, embassies could be opened.

Mainstream Milliyet reports, "A concrete step to re-establish
relations with Armenia that broke 16 years ago was taken
yesterday."

The U.S. Supports Turkey-Armenia Rapprochement
Milliyet, Hurriyet, HaberTurk carry reports Foreign Minister
Davutoglu had phone call with Secretary Clinton prior to yesterday's
announcement of the Turkey-Armenia protocol. They add, "meanwhile
Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Sinirlioglu went to Baku to
brief Azeris about the process."

Several Turkish television outlets, NTV, CNNTurk and Kanal 24 also
report as of this morning the support for the rapprochement protocol
from Washington by carrying Spokesman Ian Kelly's remarks.
Highlights mostly are "The United States warmly welcomes the joint
statement made today by Turkey and Armenia, with Swiss
participation, outlining further steps in the normalization of their
bilateral relations. We urge Armenia and Turkey to proceed
expeditiously, according to the agreed framework as described in
today's statement."

Editorials on Turkey-Armenia

Erdal Safak wrote in mainstream Sabah: "The most recent
rapprochement protocol as detailed by Foreign Minister Davutoglu is
a very important development regarding the future ties between
Ankara and Yerevan. There is an important detail however in the road

ANKARA 00001290 002 OF 003


map. The deadline for six-weeks of internal political consultancy
process ends right before the football match between Turkey and
Armenia. Therefore the attendance of the Armenian president at the
October 14 match is now even more important than before. If he does
not attend, the whole process will likely be on hold."

Semih Idiz wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "This is a brave step for
establishing diplomatic ties. The whole process will likely end up
opening the borders. Even though we have no information at this
point regarding Ankara's approach vis-`-vis Baku, but in any case
the current rapprochement will positively contribute the Karabakh
process."

Atalay: "We Will Announce Our Assessments Regarding the Kurdish Move
in the Parliament"
All papers and TV Channels: Interior Minister Besir Atalay held a
press conference yesterday on the progress in the "Democratic
initiative." Atalay said that there were no concrete projects at
hand however, the AKP government wanted to find a common ground in
their meetings with various parties and develop it from there on.
Atalay added that they would announce their proposals at the
parliament and a constitutional amendment was not on their agenda,
reports Sabah. Islamist-oriented/intellectual Zaman quotes Minister
Atalay as saying "Everybody wants higher democratic standards. All
segments of the society should take responsibility. A wide social
compromise is needed for the success of the activities carried out
within the scope of democratic move." Mainstream Hurriyet reports
that Atalay noted that there was no amnesty on their agenda, first
arms should be laid down.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties were not satisfied with Atalay's
statements. Sabah reports that main opposition CHP deputy Mustafa
Ozyurek said "My party did not see any light of hope. There is no
proposal to be discussed." MHP deputy Osman Cakir said "It doesn't
eliminate the threats when Atalay says there is no threat to state's
unitary structure." Mainly Kurdish party DTP leader Ahmet Turk said
that the press conference failed to meet the expectations and added
that the opening will not realize without a new constitution.

Editorials on Government's Kurdish Initiative

Fehmi Koru wrote in Islamist oriented Yeni Safak: "Along with
Turkey's domestic efforts, the relationship between Iraq and Syria
is also very important regarding the cooperation against terrorism.
Baghdad believes that recent terrorist attacks in the country stem
from Iraqi Baath groups stationed in Syria. Therefore Minister
Davutoglu has given a major focus on eliminating problems between
the regional neighbors. Once all is well, Minister Davutoglu's goal
is to establish a regional economic cooperation zone."

Fikret Bila wrote in mainstream Milliyet: "Minister Atalay in his
press event emphasized the importance of Turkey's unitarian state
structure and Turkish as an sole official language of the country.
All of this indicates that within a month the government's and
army's red lines have come to the same phrasing."

Davutoglu Visits Iraq, Syria
Media outlets report that on Monday, Foreign Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu met with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad in Damascus.
Speaking after the meeting, Davutoglu expressed optimism to ease
tensions escalated between Iraq and Syria after attacks that
targeted the finance and foreign ministries in Baghdad. "Syria and
Iraq are our neighbors and this is a problem inside the family. We
will we do anything in our power to settle this problem and
strengthen relations between brothers," Davutoglu told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Davutoglu met Iraqi President Talabani and PM
al-Maliki in Baghdad, and proposed the establishment of a tripartite
mechanism between Turkey, Iraq and Syria in order to fight against
terrorist attacks.

General Mc Chrystal: "The Taliban is a Matador, The U.S. Military is

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a Wounded Bull" (Sabah)
Mainstreams Sabah and Milliyet note that the BBC reported the
commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Mc
Chrystal, has written a long-anticipated report saying that the U.S.
strategy in Afghanistan is not working. Milliyet headlines, "The
U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan has collapsed." Sabah notes that
General Mc Chrystal, suggested in his report that creating jobs for
Taliban militants could resolve up to 60 percent of the insurgency
problems in Afghanistan. Sabah also notes he compared the U.S.
military to a bull charging at a matador, but the bull is getting
weaker with each cut from the matador.

TV News (CNN Turk)

Domestic

- Trial of suspects charged with the killing of 44 people in Bilge
village in the province of Mardin starts tomorrow in the city of
Corum.

- On September 2, army chief General Ilker Basbug will host Ramadan
fast breaking dinner for 800 relatives of martyred soldiers.

- On September 3, President Abdullah Gul will host Ramadan fast
breaking dinner for the representatives of different Iraqi Turkmen
groups.

- The IMF analysts say in a report economic openness may speed up
recovery for large non-African developing countries including
Turkey.

- Turkey's foreign trade deficit climbs to USD 3.4 billion in July.


- Turkish officials make preparations for tax probes into "secret
accounts" in Swiss banks.

World

- Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will join a meeting of EU Foreign
Ministers in Stockholm on September 4-5.

- Greek Cypriot leader Christofias visits Damascus and meets Syrian
Head of State Assad to discuss ferry services between northern
Cyprus and Syria.

- Iraq has delayed by a year a plan to hold its first nationwide
census in two decades.

- Suspected militants have blown up more than 20 vehicles carrying
NATO supplies from Pakistan's Karachi port to Kandahar in
Afghanistan.

- Iraqi authorities say they are negotiating the return of 19
fighter jets sent to the former Yugoslavia in the 1980s for repairs.


JEFFREY

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